The effects of EU uncertainty

  • Richard Protherough
  • 28/05/2016
  • 07:00
Tags:
  • Recruitment
  • Insights

Each quarter, Spring Technology’s Market Monitor gives you the inside track on the skill and staffing trends defining our industry. Focusing on demand by job type and region, the report delivers a detailed outlook of skills hot spots in your area and across the UK. 

Spring Technology’s Q1 2016 Market Monitor delivers latest industry trends 

Each quarter, Spring Technology’s Market Monitor gives you the inside track on the skill and staffing trends defining our industry. Focusing on demand by job type and region, the report delivers a detailed outlook of skills hot spots in your area and across the UK. 

While many years kick off with a nationwide burst of positivity, wider world issues have translated into lukewarm results for Q1 2016. Businesses are carefully considering the bigger picture, with concerns such as global insecurity, the refugee crisis and the impending Brexit referendum cooling confidence to invest in fresh talent.

Here’s a small snapshot of the state of the nation’s staffing industry. For full details and regional rundowns, download our latest Market Monitor report.  

  • A dip in demand. While permanent and contract roles rose against the final quarter of 2015, the number of advertised vacancies in March 2016 took a 10% dip compared to the same period last year. We expect demand to drop further as the EU referendum draws closer. 
  • Recovery on the horizon? While confidence may be slow to return, tech employers are likely to invest in new talent following the outcome of the Brexit vote.  
  • Salaries on the up. Despite widespread uncertainty, salaries continue to rise by more than the UK average across both the permanent and contract markets, signalling the continued presence of skills gaps. 

Despite areas such as Information Security and Business Applications bucking the trend, lack of confidence surrounding the economy and Britain’s place in the EU is having a domino effect on skills demand. 

  • Senior Professionals. Senior requirements are often higher during the first quarter, as businesses start the year with a number of strategic hires. While the increase was more pronounced in the contract market than usual, there was a fall in permanent manager vacancies.
  • Infrastructure. Infrastructure vacancies rose against the final quarter of 2015, but the boost was smaller than expected. Vacancy numbers were also down on last year - a reflection of the wider market. 
  • Development. Software engineers accounted for more than 42% of all IT jobs posted in the UK during Q1 2016, so the modest quarterly increase rise and year-on-year fall in vacancies are doubly disappointing.
  • Business Applications. Brighter news for the permanent market, which began 2016 almost 20% up on final 2015 figures. Contract vacancies lagged behind, growing at around half that rate. 
  • Information Security and Risk. A notable hotspot, particularly within the contract market, where firms have brought in short-term talent to fix problems and plug specialist skills gaps. Permanent vacancies grew by 20%, contract by 30% (an impressive 40% lift on last year).  
  • Business Intelligence and Data Management. While database administration roles climbed slightly, most BI jobs were in considerably lower demand compared to last year. Database developers in particular saw half the number of contract vacancies than in March 2015. 
  • Testing and Quality Assurance. The first quarter of 2016 told a tale of two halves. While permanent roles took a disappointing fall, the contract market improved in Q1 and for the year as a whole.
  • Financial Risk and Compliance. The Brexit debate has had an unmistakable effect on this market, with demand down across all areas. Whatever the outcome of the vote, we hope positive activity will resume once the post-election dust has settled. Should Britain choose to leave the EU, we would expect compliance roles to show a particular increase. 

For comprehensive commentary on Q1 salary and vacancy trends, hot jobs and regional updates, download the full Market Monitor report.